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Home  >  Topics  >  Bizarre Beat

April 22, 2011
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Man who barked at K-9 says 'free speech' violated

His lawyer says barking may not be seen as intelligent speech but is "still speech"

Associated Press

MASON, Ohio — A southwest Ohio man charged with teasing a police dog by barking at it says a city law violates free speech.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports the attorney for 25-year-old Ryan James Stephens says his client was not striking the animal in suburban Mason. Lawyer Jim Hardin says barking may not be seen as intelligent speech but is "still speech." He questions the validity of a city law that bars taunting police dogs.

A police officer investigating a car crash at a pub on April 3 reported he heard the dog barking uncontrollably. The officer said he found Stephens making barking noises and hissing at a dog inside the police car.

Associated PressCopyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

The officer's report quoted Stephens as saying "the dog started it" and said the man appeared highly intoxicated.






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